Written by Manuel A. Carmona
Full disclosure, I've loved comicbooks for more than half my life and I don't see myself not loving them any time soon. My childhood was based mostly around toys: Star Wars, G.I.Joes, M.A.S.K., Transformers and my all time favorite action figure line... Masters of The Universe! That's when my love for comicbooks began. If you ever owned one of those action figures you'll know what I mean, inside each figure came a mini comicbook that introduced you to the universe in which those characters lived in. At the time I didn't understood what the comics said since they were in English and my native tongue was Spanish, but I could look at the illustrations and follow the story without having to read the words; and it dawned on me... I want to make my own comics.
For the next few years I somewhat drew my own rudimentary comics based on my favorite action figures and cartoon characters but never thought too much of it; until I was in 7th grade and my dear friend Frank Rivera (yes, he eventually became the colorist on my comicbook) asked me to skip school and follow him, he needed to show me a small gift shop urgently! A gift shop? Yes, but the gift shop wasn't the important thing; inside the gift shop was a spinner rack with a bunch of comicbooks. Have you ever encountered something at some point and you know that from that moment on you're life won't ever be the same? Well, that's how I felt at that precise moment, and my life was never the same.
Why am I telling you this? Simple, I've been creating comics for a long time and came to the realization that I wanted my comics to have that same impact on a young kid's life that Batman had on me back in 1992. I want some kid to grab one of my comics and be like "I want to draw comics!'. When I first got into comics I wanted to doit for the wrong reasons, I wanted to make money and be famous and be respected; maybe that's why it never worked out like that for me. Everything changed for me once I had my first kid and I realized I wanted to make comics that would inspire him, that he'd enjoy; then everything made sense to me.
So, I focused on making my own comics independently and made sure I'd surround myself with likeminded individuals who loved comics like I did and did it for the right reasons. Comics are a very hard way to make a living if you're an artist, it's long hours away form friends and family, it's missing many gatherings, it's spending lots of money to print books and promotional merchandise and attending conventions with people who don't know and most of them couldn't care less about you or your work; you have to love this or it'll make you bitter. I know how hard it is to be an indie comicbook artist, I understand the sacrifice it entails to "make it"; that's why I try my hardest to motivate and promote as many indie creators as I can.
Many times I've been asked: "Why would you promote someone when you're trying to push your book as well?" or "Why would you push someone's book when they don't do the same for you?". My answer is always the same... it ain't about me. Would I love for people to reciprocate the love I show them? Sure. Would I love for people to push my book as much as I push theirs? Of course! But that's not why I doit, I help them because I know how hard it is and I also believe that the Universe has a way to send back what you put in it; so hopefully the it recognizes my good intentions and decides to give it back to me ten fold. If not it's all good anyway.
With that said, my brother from another mother Alvaro Cortez Ortiz came up with a way to close out this nightmare of a year on a positive note; God knows we all need it! So, it's for that reason and our desire to help the indie comics community that we decided that from this day forth November will be known as #ThanksIndie Month! What does #ThanksIndie mean? Basically it's a month long celebration of indie comics, indie creators and those who shine a spotlight on indie comics like reporters, reviewers and podcasters. It's our way to say Thank You to those indie comics creators who've helped us, who've pushed us along the way; we're all in this together.
Also, as a founding member of Buy Indie Comics Day; I'll be sharing every post throughout the month on all our social media so that the people we're promoting will be seen by as many people as possible. Again we want to thank the indie comics community and more importantly THE FANS; because without your support none of us would be able to continue creating new stories and publishing comics. THANK YOU and remember...
NOVEMBER IS #ThanksIndie MONTH